ECHO: Frequently Asked Questions

Entrepreneurship for Cardiovascular Health Opportunities (ECHO) is a specialized hands-on training program led by veteran entrepreneurs and consultants across a variety of sectors. For all the details visit


(Updated Summer 2019)

1. Are only Canadian citizens and permanent residents eligible to apply?

No, you do not need to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to apply for ECHO. The only requirement is that your cardiovascular technology/innovation is being developed in a Canadian institution/company.

2. Do you need to have a start-up company around your technology in order to be eligible?

No, you do not need to have formed a start-up company around your technology. However, you must be developing a cardiovascular technology/innovation that you intend to commercialize.

3. How many hours of workshops and seminars per week are ECHO participants expected to attend?

ECHO is a 12-month program starting from Oct 7, 2019. Its workshops and seminars are held on weekdays during typical work hours and are scheduled as follows:

Module 1 workshops: October – December 2019

During this period, 17 workshops (4 hours/session) will take place from October to December 2019. Each week will include one to two 4-hour workshops, representing the most intensive part of the program.

Module 2 and 3 workshops/seminars: January – June 2020

Module 2 workshops (2 hours/session) and Module 3 seminars (1 hour/session) will be held during this 6-month period with, at most, one 2-hour workshop or one 1-hour seminar held per week.

Pitch development: July – August 2020

During this summer stretch, there will be no workshops/seminars. ECHO ventures will have the opportunity to perfect their pitch deck, compete in a first-round pitch competition and receive mentorship from a MaRS entrepreneur-in-residence.

Final pitch competition: September 2020

The program culminates in a final pitch competition, which will be held in Sept 2020, where all ECHO ventures will have the opportunity to compete for start-up funding.

More details on the schedule will be provided in fall 2019.

4. Are all workshop and seminars held in person? Where?

All classes will be held in Toronto at the Translational Biology and Engineering Program (661 University Ave., 14th floor – MaRS west tower). At least one member of each selected venture must attend in person.

5. What are the attendance requirements?

In order to be eligible to compete in the final pitch competition for the opportunity to win start-up funding, at least one member of your venture must attend a minimum of 80% of all program workshops and seminars.

6. What does enrollment cost for ECHO?

There are no costs associated with ECHO. ECHO is a free entrepreneurial training program for ventures that are successfully accepted into the program.

7. Do all workshops and seminars need to be taken within the 12-month period?

Yes, ECHO is strategically scheduled to build a strong entrepreneurial knowledge base for its participants. Thus, all modules have to be completed within the scheduled period.

8. Is ECHO affiliated with the University of Toronto (UofT)?

Yes, ECHO is funded and organized through two UofT programs: (i) the Translational Biology and Engineering Program, which is the UofT component of the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research; and (ii) the Health Innovation Hub (H2i), a UofT campus-linked accelerator.

9. Is ECHO a certified program?

At this time there is no formal certification associated with ECHO.